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Bulldog, Hawk receive tennis honors
CHS senior compiles 9-4 record in WAC
Ceres High senior Christian Pimentel won nine of 13 matches against Western Athletic Conference competition this season. He placed in the top four at the WAC Singles Tournament. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

A newcomer to the sport of varsity boys tennis in 2015, Ceres High's Christian Pimentel exceeded his own expectations during his four-year career with the Bulldogs.

Pimentel and Central Valley's Juan Zaragoza were recognized in a vote by the Western Athletic Conference's head coaches this past month in Los Banos.

Christian and Juan both earned first-team all-WAC honors.

"I never thought I'd become one of the best players in league," Christian said.

"He (Zaragoza) definitely deserves it," Hawks' head coach Mike Rodriguez said. "He works hard."

Christian compiled a 9-4 record versus conference competition.

Pimentel won seven of 10 matches while starring at No. 1 singles during the WAC dual season.
"I improved tremendously," he said.

Christian fell one victory shy of advancing to the finals of the WAC Singles Tournament.

Pimentel lost in straight sets to Los Banos' Quentin Barcellos.

Barcellos, the top overall seed, claimed the singles title.

Christian topped Patterson's Lolyn Tejeda (three sets) in the quarterfinals and Livingston's Balpreet Chahal (straight sets) in the opening round.

Pimentel contributed at doubles as a freshman.

"One of the reasons I played tennis was because my older brother Victor played in high school," he said. "He was successful as well. It was a fun experience. I grew to love the sport. Hopefully, my tennis career continues."

Zaragoza, a junior, posted a 3-8 against conference foes.

He filled the top spot in Central Valley's lineup.

"He's gotten better each year," Rodriguez said. "He'll definitely be more competitive next season."

Juan split playing time at No. 4 and 5 singles as a sophomore.

"He hits the ball a lot better," Rodriguez said. "He understands the game more. He just needs to get a little more consistent. That will make him tougher."